Artists seek US audiences

Updated: 2014-12-01 12:10

By Lian Zi in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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 Artists seek US audiences

Bi Gang (second from left) and Song Ru'an (fourth from left), Chinese deputy consul general in San Francisco, take a group photo with performers of Nanjing Drama Group at the end of the stage drama Find Zhang Ailing atFoothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA, on Nov 29. Lian Zi / China Daily

Staging Chinese dramas for those far from home

The CEO of Chinese Ticket Box sees great potential for Chinese theatrical groups touring in the United States.

Dai Qi's company brought The Nanjing Drama Group's performance ofFind Zhang Ailing, an adaptation of Liu Kaiyi's novel of the same name, to Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, on Saturday night. Daiwasn't surprised that the 600-seat theater was filled.

"It is too hard for Chinese overseas audiences to see Chinese stage dramas in the US," Dai said.

"Because of the language barrier, only people understanding Chinese would like to purchase tickets to see Chinese stage shows in the US,resulting ina serious decline inbox officeand making Chinese drama groups reluctant to perform in foreign countries," Dai said.

But Dai believes it is important to fill the gap between the overseas audiences and the Chinese dramatic groups.

"Thedevelopment of any kind ofshowhas a process to train audiencesand expand the market, just like therecent renaissanceof cross talks (traditional Chinese comedic performances)in Chinathat attractedlots ofyoung and middle-aged audiences these years," Dai said.

Zhang Ailing (1920-1995), also known as Eileen Chang in English, is one of the most influential Chinese modern female writers.

Most of Zhang's renowned writings, such asLove in a Fallen City, The Golden CangueandJasmine Tea, deal with the tensions between men and women in love.

Find Zhang Ailingfeatures Gu Jinhe, a big fan of Zhang's, traveling through time and space to look for her. Gu was trying to change history and stop Zhang from falling in love with Hu Lancheng, Zhang's ex-husband, who nearly wrecked her life.Thetragic love between Zhang and Hufeatured strongly in the show.

Mark Yan, a Chinese engineer who arrived in Silicon Valley two years ago, became a big fan of stage dramas when he was in Beijing.

"But after I came to the US, I didn't get any chance to see it again," he said. "I am very impressed by the performers' acting skills tonight, even though the stage set was not as good as that in Beijing."

Next up for Dai: "We are currently negotiating with Beijing People's Art Theater and plan to bring the popular stage dramaThe Sadness of Comedy,starring famous Chinese actor Chen Daoming, to the audiences in Silicon Valley next year."